By President Nominee Richard Spalding (Winchester, UK Rotary Club)
The prosthetic legs have arrived!
The crate of components arrived on Island from UK via Geestline’s Atlantic Klipper on 4 April. These were quickly off loaded and moved to NCPD where they will eventually be used. They were handed over to NCPD (National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities) at a short informal ceremony on Friday 12 April with 3 media stations (DBS, Choice TV and Hot 7 News) conducting interviews which were subsequently aired that evening.
This imaginative legacy project for RCGI has been the brainchild of President Lenita who set out to increase the capacity for fitting limbs by NCPD such that more amputees can regain their self esteem, better support their family, return to work and help increase productivity. 
To make this project both a short term success and sustainable for the long term, the small old workshop at Vieux Fort needed to be resited and modernised, prosthetic technicians needed to be trained and some prosthetic limbs had to be sourced. In February, the NCPD headquarters in Carellie were reconfigured and expanded which allowed a fully fitted workshop to be established including a separate plaster room (for sockets) and areas for privacy where assessments and fittings can be conducted. This area was also used for training 4 technicians, which was provided by an experienced prosthesis trainer from the USA, James de Wees, also in February. A collection of used prosthetic components were sourced in the UK and shipped to St Lucia.
The photo during the handover in NCPD shows (L to R): Cynthia Weekes and Linda Preville (both Board members of NCPD), RCGI President Lenita, Winchester Rotary President Nominee Richard, and Stephen Edmund (1st VP of NCPD). On the tables are the collection of components: 68 assorted feet, 12 sockets, 100 tubes (that’s the part that goes between the foot and the socket), 4 complete feet/tubes//knees, 13 knees (these are the most expensive item by far), a variety of adapters, connectors and tools needed in the fitting process. Most of the items are recycled and were most helpfully and kindly sourced by Alastair Gilbertson (Portsmouth UK, Prosthetics Centre) for free, the total value if purchased from new being approximately EC$200,000. A crate was then built by a Southampton-Based charity (Tools for Self Reliance), for free. The crate was then transported by road from there to Dover, by Hampshire Freight Services, for free. Then the crate was shipped by Geestline’s Atlantic Klipper from Dover to Castries, again for free. Winchester Rotary is very proud and pleased to collaborate on such a well-deserved cause as this, in terms of moral support and advice, part funding the training and obtaining some prosthetic limbs to help get the new facility fully functional.

Based on global averages, it is expected that there are between 20-50 amputations in St Lucia per year. Though this figure is not known precisely, it is derived from the typical figure of 0.01% of the population ie about 20; there are about 5000 amputations in public hospitals in England with a population of 50 million. However, with St Lucia’s much higher than average diabetes and road traffic accidents, it could be significantly more, hence the possible figure of 50 ie about one per week.
Now that all parts of the initial set up of the new facility are complete, publicity about it is needed, hospitals need to refer amputees to NCPD and then, hopefully, many amputees will be helped and President Lenita’s objectives met, for the benefit of so many.